I heard about NBA Playgrounds and knew I had to have it. An arcadey 2-on-2 basketball game promising big dunks and fast action harkening back to the days of NBA JAM.
Spoiler alert: some of these big dunks and fast action are delivered. But the game trips over its own shoelaces all too often. This is not an updated NBA JAM you can play with your kids.
Look, we all love our kids. But sometimes, something deep inside of you becomes a petty monster and you give your kid such a side eye that it actually hurts your own reproductive organs.
That was me last week — three times — over video games.
(Disclosure: I’m a Nintendo Ambassador and they sent me an NES Classic Edition to play with. Boom!)
Sup, nerds. It’s been great walking among the people, but the truth is that for years, I’ve been hiding my true identity, and I think it’s finally time you know it.
The truth is, I’m Z-Ro, the last Nintendo Game Counselor. Born in the 80s, honed by playing with power until I bled pixels. By the time the Nintendo Power Line faded away, I had gone into hiding with nothing but an NES and a dream that one day I may use my power again. That day, friends, is today.
There can only be one, baby, and I’m it! Cowabunga!
“No, I know. It sounds weird to me too,” I assured the mother of my son’s friends. “I did just ask if your kids could come over and I could show them Japanese cartoons and take pictures of them. I get it.”
Let’s rewind back to mid-December: my son and I were Christmas shopping, and Nintendo had a game kiosk set up in the mall. Among the games was one called Yo-Kai Watch. My son and I wouldn’t have paid too much attention to it, except that one of the game’s characters was a butt. Like, literally, a butt. A Nintendo rep asked my son if he wanted a Yo-Kai Watch mask. “THE BUTT I WANT THE BUTT,” my son yelped because he’s seven years old and he’s my son and I love him as much as anything could love anything.
But I digress.
The holidays are a time of family. Awkward family you haven’t seen in foreves. I mean, sure, you follow them on Facebook, but once you’ve covered the catching-up phase, what do you do?
My suggestion: make the holidays a time of family gaming. I think you can, and I think it’s easy. But it’s not a one-size fits all approach. There are plenty of great board games, card games and video games out for folks of all ages – and with a little forethought, you can be the hero that emcees the whole thing.
Here are some suggestions of games you can break out once family starts showing up, and there’s bound to be something for everyone.
Super Mario Bros. 3 is still an incredible game. We thought we’d pay a little homage to it the best way we know how: asking you which of Super Mario Bros. 3‘s powerups best describes your parenting style.
Are you firey? Do you throw hammers? Do you avoid parenting duties by standing still like a statue? We made a graphic that’ll help you decide…
So here’s the thing about Super Mario Maker: you can never go back.There’s no putting the toothpaste back in the tube. Once you know that you can make Super Mario Bros. levels, you can’t just play Super Mario Bros.anymore. I know this because I tried. For funsies, I revisited Super Mario Bros. 1, and immediately, I sized everything up with Maker eyes:
“It’d be cool if they put an invisible block here…”
“I wonder if a second Koopa Troopa here would trip you up…”
“THIS WOULD KICK ASS WITH MORE FIRE FIRE FIIIIRRRRREEEEEEEE”
You get the point.